IDF mulling self-defense course for all female recruits

Plan hatched by Col. Dr. Avi Moyal, head of the IDF's Combat Fitness Division comes amid fears of kidnappings and sexual assault.

August 9, 2009 00:19
1 minute read.
female soldier girl lookin tough 298 aj

female IDF soldier 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Citing fears of kidnappings and sexual assault, the IDF is considering establishing a special self-defense course for all female soldiers who enlist in the military. The plan is the brainchild of Col. Dr. Avi Moyal, head of the IDF's Combat Fitness Division. Moyal has discussed the idea with Brig.-Gen. Gila Klifi-Amir, the General Staff's Adviser on Women's Affairs and the two are hoping to secure a budget for the program. Under the plan, all female recruits will participate in a week-long self-defense course to provide them with skills how to fend off potential attackers, rapists and kidnappers. "This course will be aimed at providing the female soldiers with self-confidence to travel around the country in the framework of their military service as many of them need to" explained a senior officer in the IDF's Ground Forces Command. Most female soldiers in the IDF serve in non-combat positions and undergo a very low-level basic training without receiving any real self defense skills. "Very few female soldiers are given an introductory class in hand-to-hand combat but not enough to know how to fight off an attacker," the officer said. The Ground Forces Command has also established a new training regimen to train soldiers how to fight off a Hamas or Hizbullah kidnapping attempt. The decision to establish the new course was made following Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, during which Hamas operatives made a number of attempts to kidnap IDF soldiers. Following the operation, the Ground Forces Command set up a team of officers to recommend changes to the current training regimen based on findings from the almost two-week ground offensive in Gaza. One of the recommendations was to sharpen troops' skills on how to fight off kidnappers not just with their rifle but also when the soldier's ammunition runs out or when he is taken by surprise.

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